April 10, 2010
Site: Minneapolis, Minn. (Jane Sage Cowles Stadium)
Scores: #2 Michigan 9, Minnesota 0 (5 inn.)
Records: U-M (29-5, 6-0 Big Ten), Minnesota (15-24, 1-4 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, April 11 -- at Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.), 1 p.m. CDT
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Junior RHP Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) tossed the first perfect game of her collegiate career, guiding the No. 2-ranked University of Michigan softball team to a dominant 9-0, five-inning decision at Minnesota on Saturday afternoon (April 10) at the Golden Gophers' Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.
Taylor commanded the pitching circle, striking out 10-of-15 Minnesota batters faced to earn her 10th double-digit strikeout effort and improve to 16-2 on the season. The no-hitter was Taylor's second of the season and fifth in her career, giving her a share of the Michigan's all-time record in the category. Today's perfect game was the fifth in U-M softball history.
The Wolverines backed Taylor with eight hits and six walks, scoring runs in four different innings to cruise to their eighth consecutive win. Sophomore centerfielder Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) and senior catcher Roya St. Clair (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson HS) paced the U-M offense with dual 2-for-4 performances, while senior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus (Eureka, Mo./Eureka HS) and senior rightfielder Angela Findlay (Lockport, Ill./East HS) left the park for two runs apiece.
Michigan batted through the order in the top of the first inning, earning runs off a pair of two-run singles from junior first baseman Dorian Shaw (Burke, Va./Robinson SS) and senior leftfielder Kristin Larsen (Orion, Mich./Lake Orion HS) to claim the only advantage U-M needed. Evans opened the game with a slap blooper to shallow leftfield before Viefhaus joined her on base via a bobbled grounder by the Gopher shortstop. A groundout moved both into scoring position, and Shaw took advantage, scoring both on a hard, bouncing grounder up the middle into shallow right centerfield. Larsen followed suit three batters later with the bases loaded, smacking a two-run grounder of her own through the left side.
St. Clair used another grounder to drive home one in the second frame. Findlay and Viefhaus accepted back-to-back walks before the Wolverine catcher knocked a bouncing ground ball down the rightfield line. Minnesota first baseman Malisa Barnes went across her body to backhand it but could not keep her glove on the ball as it skipped over the bag and rolled down the line, allowing Findlay to race home from second.
Following Findlay's leadoff walk in the fourth, Viefhaus went yard with a two-run, line-drive homer over the fence in right centerfield. The Wolverine captain boasts 12 bombs on the season and has homered in five of the last six games.
Findlay pushed her season home run tally to double digits with a two-run blast in the fifth inning. Evans singled through the left side with two outs in the frame before Findlay connected with the 2-2 pitch in the next at-bat and roped a liner over the leftfield fence.
The Maize and Blue will wrap up its two-game road series at Minnesota tomorrow (Sunday, April 11) with a 1 p.m. CDT slate at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.
With today's win, the Wolverines improved to 71-23 in the all-time series against Minnesota.
Junior RHP Jordan Taylor became the fifth Wolverine pitcher to throw a perfect game in Michigan softball history, joining Kelly Forbis (1990-93), Sara Griffin (1995-98), Marissa Young (2000-03) and senior LHP Nikki Nemitz.
With her fifth career no-hitter, Taylor moved into a two-way tie with Jennie Ritter (2003-06) for the Michigan school record in the category.
Taylor picked up her 66th career win with the effort, moving to the seventh spot among Michigan's all-time leaders in the category. She shares the position with Nicole Motycka (2002-05).
Junior first baseman Dorian Shaw's two-run, first-inning single extended her hitting streak to a career-best eight games. Sophomore outfielder Bree Evans extended her hitting streak to a season-best six games -- just one game shy of her career long.
Evans owns a team-leading 16 multi-hit performances this season. She has tallied at least two hits in four of the last five games.
Michigan has homered at least once in eight straight games, tallying multiple homers in five.
Three Wolverine hitters -- Dorian Shaw (12), Maggie Viefhaus (12) and Angela Findlay (10) -- boast double-digit home runs on the season. All three rank among Michigan's all-time career home run leaders. Shaw lists third with 37, Viefhaus lists fourth with 34, while Findlay moved into a three-way tie for seventh with today's long ball.
Q U O T E S
U-M Junior RHP Jordan Taylor
On bouncing back from her sluggish end in Thursday's Indiana game ... "That game a little strange, and I was pretty frustrated at the end of it. I've been working on several things and dealt with some adversity this season. So, this is a big confidence builder and momentum pusher. You need games like that over the course of a season. The UCLA was a good game like that at the beginning of the year, and the Arizona game was a good one. You just need those to keep going otherwise you'll pull your hair out. Today was a good day."
On avoiding complacency ... "In these type of games, a lot of teams have a tendency to expect things to happen and expect everyone else to do it. It can be a struggle to stay focused. Pitchers can get a little lazy when they think the hitters aren't as good. For me, it helps to make little individual goals. I made a deal with my mom at the beginning of the season that if I threw a perfect game, she would get me a little gift; I actually just upped the ante last night, so that was good timing."
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423